BEYOND A RESPONSIBLE MINING OFFICER
I hope this piece meet you well. It has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that our beloved Mining sector faces anguish and neglect.
A sector largely underdeveloped that our roles as Mining engineers have been limited to a mere title, “A RESPONSIBLE MINING OFFICER”.
A high risk job paying a meager monthly stipend in most cases. Our voices have been unheard; more like a loud cry in the desert. The foreign investor(s) will not let you do your job. Unfavourable policies on the path of government and regulatory bodies are the order of the day.
Let us take a dive into the industrial mineral development. It was reported concerning Ethiopia (a case study) that in the late 1980s, the mineral industry lacked significance, given that it contributed less than 0.2 percent to the country’s GDP. But the narrative has changed.
Today, industrial minerals are important commodities for the country’s export-oriented growth strategy. As a means of promoting and encouraging artisanal miners, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum do not issue a foreigner Reconnaissance license for industrial minerals. Whereas in Nigeria, Chinese and Lebanese hold small scale mining lease.
This monopoly they are trying to create, has terribly affected small scale miners and operators in Nigeria. The processors (users of the industrial minerals) now prefer to get the raw industrial minerals from his colleague leaving the average Nigerian to struggle and cope with market competition.
The Nigerian crude is either rejected or ridiculously priced. This and many more despicable events occur on regular basis within the industry but our regulatory bodies have failed to wake up to the occasion, and take steps to mitigate the issue.
When was the last time Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG), regulated activities of Mining engineers and Geoscientists?
Or does it no longer exist in the COMEG ACT 40. of 1990?
Is it not shameful that COMEG have not had a substantial Registrar for over 5 years until now?
It is quite a slap on the faces of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), Director of Mines, in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the Director of the Federal Geological Surveys of Nigeria, and the academia who are members of the council.
Today an accountant is the secretary, registrar and CEO of COMEG, dictating and running the affairs of our dear Council. (https://www.comeg.gov.ng/about.php).
The rest is left for us to ponder on.
Having earlier mentioned the anguish faced by our sector, it is important to point out some challenges and intending danger looming above us.
These include but not limited to;
-Obtaining a permit to buy explosives
-7.5% VAT payment on the purchased explosives
-Royalty payment based on powder factor (an idea I believe was adopted without due consultation with the real stakeholders)
- Mineral import duty
These and many more will be discussed in our subsequent editorials. This is only meant to jeer us up to realizing the fierce urgency of now.
Gone are those when our voices were unheard. Now is the time to force the change we desire. Now is the time to enjoy true individual freedom and live out the true meaning of our profession.
Be ready and willing to contribute your quota as events unfold.
Otuogbai Ojemeri Sunday
Otuogbai Ojemeri Sunday firstname.lastname@example.org +234(0)806-6245-701
Temi’ Alex Oluwalade email@example.com +234(0)806-7747-073
IDEDE Oseyande, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, is an unrepentant believer in the Nigeria project.
His concern for the actualisation of a prosperous nation and the continent, in general, is reflected in his written works.
He currently runs an online advocacy platform (www.socialwatchdog.ng) where he engages the government and the people.
Among his published works are ‘What is Left of What is Right?’, ‘The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader’ and ‘Warri No Dey Carry Last’.
He is a guest writer for several blogs and his Attitudinal and Behavioral Coaching classes has transformed many lives.